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14 November 2013

Investigating and preventing chemical and explosives terrorism focus of INTERPOL training in Georgia

TBILISI, Georgia – Enhancing regional preparedness throughout Central Asia, the Southern Caucasus and Southeastern Europe to respond and investigate a chemical and explosives terrorist attack was the focus of an INTERPOL training course.

The four-day (4 – 7 November) course organized by INTERPOL’s Chemical and Explosives (ChemEx) Terrorism Prevention Unit in cooperation with Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, provided representatives from law enforcement, government, customs and chemical companies with an overview of the threat in the six participating countries and how to develop strategies on working together to effectively counter it.

“As the world’s only global law enforcement organization, INTERPOL has a leading role to play in helping its member countries meet the security challenges posed by chemical and explosives terrorism,” commented Valerian Lomuashvili, Deputy Director of the Reforms and Development Agency of Georgia’s Internal Affairs Ministry. 

“Because an attack of this kind would have severe consequences for economic and political stability, INTERPOL’s course this week has proved invaluable for our region as investigators now have the skills they need to prevent it,” added Mr Lomuashvili.

“Prevention of terrorist attacks involving the use of chemicals and explosives requires an extraordinary level of coordination amongst governments, police and the public and private enterprises,” said Ian Rotsey, INTERPOL ChemEx Terrorism Prevention Unit Coordinator.

“Courses like this bring together experts and participants from different countries and agencies, and allow stakeholders at all levels to plan, prepare for, and prevent such attacks.  Counter terrorism capability in each country can be significantly strengthened by adopting a synchronized regional approach,” concluded Mr Rotsey.

With terrorist groups increasingly turning to commonly used chemicals as precursors to build Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Improvised Chemical Devices (ICDs), the course examined the best ways to prevent terrorists from obtaining the materials needed to build such weapons.

Expert presentations, scenario-based workshops and field exercises taught participants how to recognize the home-based manufacture process and investigate, measure, and address the risk posed by the illegal diversion of chemical precursors.

Participating countries included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.